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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  November 24, 2009 10:00pm-11:00pm EST

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>> dr. howard dean's latest book. real health care reform is available online at fine book southeasterlies near you. now, let me get this wording right. it's a lively and detailed read and makes an excellent and extremely reasonable case that reform is imperative. dr. dean will have more details as they become available. >> i will have many, thanks, bill for this. >> it's been a lot of show. now to keith. thanks for watching. tonight, "countdown" starts now. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? the plan to sink joe lieberman. could his vote be replaced by collins or snowe?
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why don't the democrats just shoot for reconciliation and only 51 votes? 4 why can't lieberman remember why he's opposed to a public option? he's given six different answers in six months. >> all we are asking is let the senate consider these issues one by one. if joe lieberman carries the day, so be it, but if he doesn't, he shouldn't stop everybody from voting on it. >> our special guest, congressman allan grayson. the president and afghanistan. the decision looms with an exit strategy attached. >> it's my intention to finish the job. >> the chicken hawk criticizing from an undisclosed location. >> i worry there's a lack of understanding there, what this means from the perspective of the troops. >> that's dick cheney, who never talked to the troops except in a photo-op. exstatic sister sarah. >> more and more jewish people will be flocking to israel in the days and weeks and months ahead.
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the fundamentalist prophesy that may be the only policy sarah palin thinks she understands. >> first, obama's dinner for the prime minister of india. how the washington times and fox news reported john boehner was not invited for partisan reasons. then it turned out he had been invited but declined so he could go home to ohio to, i don't know, work on his tan. worsts -- beck does it again pl calls mary landrieu, quote, a prostitute. now says of -- >> now we know you're hooking. but you're just not cheap. >> where is the call for beck to be fired from sarah palin? all the news and commentary now on "countdown." >> i guess shame is dead.
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good evening from new york. the self-declared spoiler of the health care reform bill that begins debate, who does the junior senator from connecticut represent? 10% do not have health insurance tonight. or aetna, just one of the health insurance behemoths who have their headquarters in hartford. joe lieberman saying he will not vote for a bill with a public option, and he still caucuses with the democrats because? "time" magazine has this week dubbed the senator from aetna drawing hi line in the sand in an interview with "the wall street journal," telling the newspaper, quote, i'm going to be stubborn on this, refusing even to accept the trigger compromise proposed by the republican of maine, olympia snowe. once the government creates an insurance company or plan, senator lieberman adding, the government or tax payers are liable for any deficit that government plan runs. really without limit.
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except, of course, by the projection by the congressional budget office that the bill will save the government money. it will reduce the federal deficit by $130 billion over its first decade and by as much as $650 billion over its second deck kate. in addition, health care reformers telling ron brownstein of, the bill appears to be the best effort yet to contain costs. mark mcclcclellan, brother to scott saying the cost containment effort, it would be good if more could be done, but this is the right direction to go. jonathan gruber, the leading health economist at m m.i.t. adding, i'm sort of a known skeptic on this. they make the best effort anyone has ever made. everything is in here. reporting president obama made the post without the required reading over the weekend. in a new survey, 79% saying it's
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important for the president to include health care reform in addressing the nation's economic crisis. another poll showing that the outcome of the health care debate could weigh heavily on the democrats' chances at the mid terms next year. if congress does pass a health care reform bill with a public option in it, the democrats lead jennerically 46 to 41 on the 2010 ballot. but if congress fails to pass any kind of reform, respondents are then split 40-40 between the generic democrat and the generic republican. an actual democrat in congress wond wondering allowed why senator lieberman has elevated to such prominence. >> where did the number 60 take such precedence? all we're asking is if the senate to debate these issues one by one. if joe lieberman carries the day, so be it. if he doesn't, he shouldn't stop everyone else from voting on it.
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howard fineman join us now. good evening. >> hi, keith. the senator told the wall street journal he's opposed because it would increase the deficit. it won't. he said he opposed it because americans don't want or support the public option. in all polls, they do. in august, he said the country is in a recession. we need to wait even though lowering the health care would lower the debate. in june, he said because private insurance provides plenty of competition already. obviously, it's not true and the insurance industry knows it. washington monthly noted he's had a different reason each month since june. is lieberman making it up as he goes along? >> no, he's doing it deliberately, at least in the eyes of the other democrats in the actual democratic caucus. if you talk to joe lieberman or his staff, and i do, as recently as today, they insist he favors
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reform and regulation, federal regulation of the health insurance industry to prevent abuses like denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. but it's the widespread belief in the democratic caucus, in the democratic cloak room that joe lieberman's main aim is to kill the bill. he will say or do whatever is necessary from his point of view to do it. that's the widespread view among other democrats on the hill. >> if a republican from maine, a moderate one like olympia snowe votes to preserve a form of public option, however watered down it is, the question becomes among the democrats, why do they even talk to lieberman at this point? who cares what he thinks if they can get snowe cheap? >> they are asking themselves the same question, keith. i talked to some of the democratic leadership today. they said, yeah, they think lieberman is a lost cause, as i was explaning. he voted to bring the bill up. you remember harry reid said i'm
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not worried about joe lieberman in terms of bringing the bill up. that meant he was very worried about him on final passage. and they are talking to snowe and to susan collins, the other senator from maine. they are looking at the trigger. they are hoping that maybe -- and they may have to -- get a republican vote. >> what about progressives who don't want the trigger or watered down public option? why is this not the root? kill this bill and resolve as much as you can using budget reconciliation? the 51-vote process? >> that may ultimately be the saving grace at end. it's nothing harry reid and the democrats want to talk about now. they don't dare because it's a thing of last resort. it would be all full of all kinds of procedural traps in the long term. they are worried about a loss in a big vote changing the psychology in a way that would then get out of control. they are trying to make the case
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about cost savings, the president understands it's the key thing. that's why he sent ron brownstein's thing around, because that's the key to holding the majority together and trying to get that one republican vote, maybe two republican votes. >> are they still of the mindset, mr. reid and the president, are they still of the mindset that any victory is a substantial victory? even if it moves the ball an inch forward, it does that? and also, since the republicans are clearly opposed to any kind of reform, defeating them is symbolically almost as important as making real reform? >> it's both. it's both. there are all kinds of reform measures in there. as far as joe lieberman is concerned, they have noted, for example, as others have, when mitch mcconnell was speaking saturday, the republican leader, and opposition to any bill, joe lieberman was sitting on the republican side of the aisle. when harry reid and the democrats were speaking
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to close the argument on saturday, joe lieberman moved over to the democratic side of the aisle. so they're dealing with a guy that clearly has issues. they're focussing on passing a bill any way they can. >> howard fineman of msnbc and "newsweek." great thanks, and have a great thanksgiving. >> you too, thank you. change the rules of the senate, to require only 55 votes to invoke the anti-filibuster measure instead of 60. the senate made a similar change before. invoking cloture before used to require 67 vote, more than two thirds until they reduced the number to 60 in 1975. alan grayson started the website to tell reid to change the rules. congressman grayson joins us from orlando.
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thank you for your time. >> hi, keith. >> do you have a gauge on how your colleagues reacted to your idea? >> it's too early to say. everybody understands the situation. the house passed 100 bills waiting action by the senate. the republicans are using the filibuster rule to disable government. it's what it comes down to. in the 110th congress, they used it twice as much as anyone has before. now, they are going to set a new record with the 111th congress. this can't go on because the country has problems that need to be solved. >> if you were to get 30 seconds to pitch your idea to majority leader reid of the senate, your best 30 seconds, what would you tell him and focus on? >> i think he would be pitching it to me. he's frustrated at this point, himself. we all are. everyone has to recognize, it has to end somehow. americans didn't vote for the status quo last year, they voted for change. they are not getting it because
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the republicans are acting in a unified action to prevent it an support the status quo. it's not what america wants or needs. i think senator reid understands that as well as anybody. you need to recognize when the republicans wanted to pass something, they ignored the rules. tax cuts for the rich passing with 55 votes. the free trade agreement with central america, medicare part d pass with fewer than 60 votes. every time the republicans came up against this impediment and the democrats were asserting themselves, they rolled right over it. >> you heard what howard fineman said about reconciliation and the prospect of doing much of the bill in the senate that way. is that a better alternative to changing the cloture rules essentially in the middle of the game? >> if we need to, that's fine. the important thing is to solve people's problems, give them the health care they need, the jobs they need. the republicans are executing on their game plan, which is disable the government.
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years ago, they started it when they appointed lobbyists to run the government in the executive branch and they contracted out everything to their contracting cronies. they cut off revenue to the government by tax cuts to the rich. it's got to end. we have a democracy and we need to show that's what this is. >> from a partisan view, let's say mr. reid went there is the best idea i have heard all week. we can get it done by next thursday. what happens if and when the republicans regain control of the senate and they have a 55 vote measure. are you saying the log jam is so bad, it needs to be changed on principle rather than party? >> we're not talking democrat or republican party. it's a problem with democracy. the house is getting business done and the senate isn't
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because you have 40 determined senators bent on stopping it. that's the problem. now, if we change the rule, it's going to apply to democrats as well as republicans. the senate is going to be able to get business done. you're not going to see 100 bills piled up. >> congressman alan grayson, thanks for your time. >> thank you. post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most untreated illnesses. coping mechanisms that failed him in the past. it explains not only why dick cheney thinks he was speaking for all u.s. troops when he blasted the commander in chief about afghanistan, but why some people would think after his failures about afghanistan that he has any credibility on the topic. next. all right, when you look at the future
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of your busine, what do you see? is the glass half-empty or half-full? well, with ups, you could eliminate warehouses. streamline your supply chain, and even reach new global markets. so your business is more adaptable, more efficient and more profitable. hey, the opportunities are out there. seize them with ups. is anybody else thirsty? dick cheney warns about delay in afghanistan. the current delay, not the one he caused for the seven years of u.s. history. oddly, the laughter was not loud
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enough to peel paint off all the houses in the country. after calling her a prostitute, beck calls senator mary landrieu a hooker. one hilarious response to this, one sad nonresponse. i love winter. with my subaru forester and its all-wheel drive... ... handling even the toughest conditions... is just another day at the beach.
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the british failed in afghanistan, the soviets failed in afghanistan. bush-cheney, leading the greatest military force in histohi histo history, failed in afghanistan. president obama says he has a plan to finish the job. what dick cheney now says in a moment. reports claiming mr. obama will
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announce a deployment of 30,000 more troops to afghanistan, following what was called last night's final meeting of his war council on this strategy. the president today confirming no details. >> review that we have gone through has been comprehensive and extremely useful. it's brought together my key military advisors and civilian advisors. i can tell you, as i said before, that it is in our strategic interest, in our national security interest to make sure al qaeda and its extremist allies cannot operate effectively in those areas. i have also indicated that after eight years, some of those years in which we did not have, i think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done. it is my intention to finish the job. i feel very confident when the american people hear a clear rational for what we are doing
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there and how we intend to achieve our goals, they will be supportive.e for what we are do there and how we intend to achieve our goals, they will be supportive. for what we are doi there and how we intend to achieve our goals, they will be supportive.e for what we are do there and how we intend to achieve our goals, they will be supportive. >> naturally the military genius that helped taking few months to hammer out a plan, after eight years of war, could not resist lobbing new insults. actually suggesting today that u.s. soldiers have only one opinion about this, and he knows what it is. after a radio host teed him up by saying mr. obama's decision making is something he's doing to the troops rather than for. >> why is he doing this to the troops waiting for re-enforcements in afghanistan? what's behind this, do you believe? >> i don't really know, scott. i worry that, you know, there's a lack of understanding there of what this means from the perspective of the troops.
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if you are out there on the line day in and day out and putting your life at risk on a volunteer basis for the nation and you see the commander in chief unable or appearing to be unable to make a decision about the way forward here, you know, that raises serious doubts. >> mr. cheney might understand the u.s. troops do not think as one. if he were ever to think of any other than those hand picked for him at photo-ops. and if he hadn't gotten two deferments -- oh, wait. three. i'm sorry, five. five deferments. making quick decisions that were wrong in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. the u.s. people are, them v themselves sure how to proceed. a poll showing 50% supporting sending 34,000 more troops to afghanistan. 49% opposing. let's turn to richard wolffe and the author of "renegade, the
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making of a president." thank you for your time. >> my pleasure, keith. >> i'm sure that some troops are thankful for a president who has produced a comp hence i, multipronged deliberative process. does not mr. cheney marginalize himself by turning them into a monolithic dick cheney supporter? >> i'm sure some troops might have wanted the job to be finished and al qaeda leadership killed at that moment. they might have wanted real armor on their vehicles instead of paying for it themselves. in any case, this hasn't really ever been about supporting the troops because dick cheney may,
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for instance, have planned for the day after the invasion of iraq. this is about the politics of posturing about supporting the troops. that has worked up to a point. in the end, this is going to be a decision that actually impacts real human beings, real brave men and women in the united states military and being delay ed for a second, third, fourth time. it's actually a huge decision. it has to be defined and executed in the correct way. it's no longer -- this war isn't about a propaganda battle with the taliban. the taliban that people in afghanistan are fighting a guerrilla war, it's not a media war, no matter what dick cheney presents it to be. >> what would dick cheney say about somebody like dick cheney out of office being so pointedly and god awfully convinced of his perfection of his criticism, being so critical of the commander-in-chief at a time of war?
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>> well, they would have clearly played the patriotic card. i mean, you know, one thing that the -- the typical strategy for this kind of parrying would be to say, you don't question the commander of chief in a time of war. that undermines the morale of the troops more than anything else. because in the end, the polls suggest this is not about politics. it's not a left or right division. it's about defining what the mission is. when president obama says he's going to get the job finished, what is the job? that's his challenge next week. he needs to define what it is. sarah palin can say the job is to support the troops. they need a mission. defining that mission is just been one of the biggest failures. one of the big lessons of vietnam. say what the exit strategy is.
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it's not an open-ended commitment that's going to open up something in afghanistan. >> from the snapshot i got, the best one he can find is the least worst one. is he likely to be that blunt about it and sell his plan saying look, they all stink. this is the least stinky of them. >> i think he has to be slightly more optimistic than that. he has to frame it as a long standing effort that's struggled, because of wasted opportunities in the past. whether it was going after the al qaeda leadership, whether it was the political failures in afghanistan of president karzai and the failure, let's face it, to invest in the reconstruction in afghanistan. he has to talk about missed opportunities. >> richard wolffe of msnbc and author of "renegade" great thanks. >> thank you, keith. one of the less frequently
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spoken reasons behind the right's unjustifiably smug certitude about what to do in afghanistan or iraq or iran or israel is back in the news tonight, because of something sister sarah palin mentioned, seemingly in passing, in an interview with a reporter last week, just before she took over the fixed news primetime lineup. it'm symbolized that to expand her knowledge of the foreign policy implications of the settlements in the west bank, ms. palin has turned to the reverend billy graham. be afraid, be very afraid. ahead on "countdown." national car rental knows i'm picky. so, at national, i go right past the counter... and you get to choose any car in the aisle. choose any car? you cannot be serious! okay. seriously, you choose. go national. go like a pro.
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bests in a moment. lou dobbs says he's running for president. well, maybe running is a bit optimistic. first on this date in 1972, a
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passenger onboard a northwest orient flight from portland to seattle, stood up, showed the attendant a briefcase filled with wires and red sticks. a bomb, he claimed. when the plane landed in seattle, he released the passengers in exchange for money and chutes, then ordered the pilots to take off again. supposedly money stuffed in his pockets and parachute firmly attached to his back, he jumped out of the plane over southwest washington state. the air force jets never saw anybody jump out of it. the man called dan cooper vanished. eight years later, about 10% of the money was found by campers. let's play "odd ball." a slightly different crime, we begin with dashcam footage in ohio. he was pulled over for bank robbery. an officer pulled his wallet out of his pocket. a white piece of paper appeared and they completely miss the it at the time, but after watching
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the tape, police now believe that piece of paper mr. ford ate was the hold-up note he used in the robbery. ford remains in custody. police have enough evidence to convict him, but a station rookie is being kept on duty just in case. to a formula one racetrack, ferrari's ceo is taking a couple of drivers far spin around the track in the new ferrari california. it's the first front engine ferrari with a v-8, seven-speed, duel -- and also the first ferrari to suck on gravel. we're not sure why he pulled off into the gravel pit designed to stop cars before they snack into the grand stand. the boys in the back got out to push to no avail. all three men were forced to do a walk of shame, back to an ordinary 1979 chevy. finally to brazil. you're going to have to give me a little leeway with the pronouns here. things got ugly at the miss gay brazil beauty pageant.
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the 2009 miss gay brazil was doing the press rounds when her wig and tiara got teared off by a runner up. right here. the shocked winner lost her hair and crown. officials believe she was wearing a disguise. back here at home, carrie prejean has denounced opposite pageants and donald trump's hair was too upset to comment. sister sarah palin turns to a troublesome source, billy graham for advice. she may be an end of days, apocalypse anti-kris believers. dateline, new jersey. best self-delusion, lou dobbs running for president. talking to the esteemed journalist, fred "mail it in" comp son, said have you ever thought about running for president? dobbs replied, i'm talking -- yes is the answer. and i'm going to be talking some more with some folks who want me to listen to them in the next
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few weeks. i do know this -- i'm going to have the best advice. i may make a terrible decision, but i'm going to have great advice. lou, at the end, you are having trouble getting more viewers than jane velez-mitchell, how are you going to get enough votes to become president? president of lou. number two, senator david vitter, republican of louisiana. louisiana democratic party responded to the unconscionable use of the word prostitute to describe mary lan due, a wodrie used by beck and limbaugh to denounce the remark. senator vitter. senator vitter has been silent. his expertise in the area of prostitutes would do good. best celebrity romance news,
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carrie prejean, disgraced ex-ms. california, and producer of amateur auto porn is, according to, in love with backup st. louis quarterback kyle boller. her brother says they are dating. to steal from the post from the sports site dead spin, rams coaches say boller has been watching a lot of films lately. so heading to the doctor
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unemployed alaska blogger, sarah palin, likes to talk about her faith without talking about her faith. for the record, our third story is neither ridiculing ndur disputing her religious beliefs. it's just attempting to discern what those beliefs constitute so the voters of 2012 know what they're getting. there's nothing to suggest that
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her beliefs are anything than utterly mainstream, but in the last two weeks she's revealed pieces of the puzzle that suggests she shares the belief of her church, the assemblies of god, that jesus lifts true believers up with him while nonbelievers suffer the adock lips. -- apocalypse. she's implying now that her interpretation drives core elements of her policy as the washington times declared palin shares the belief in the end times. >> there are some things about the natural resources. about the state. there are some things that god wants to tap into to be a refuge for the lower 48. i believe alaska is one of the refuge states in the last days. >> but the last days cannot happen until israel is fully restored. the temple on the mount rebuilt and jews return from around the world. here's what palin's church believes --
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>> but, does palin, herself, believe in this prophesy of jews returning to israel, followed by armageddon, and the death of jews and other nonbelievers, that it will happen soon? there was no evidence of that, until last week. when asked about her own ambitions, palin said she cannot make predictions. >> i am not one to predict what will happen in a few years. >> when asked about israel, where rueters reported immigration is down tofuer than 20,000 jews a year, palin last week suddenly decided she can make prei dictions without identifying the source of her prediction. >> i believe that the jewish settlements should be allowed to
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be expanded upon, because that population of israel is going to grow. more and more jewish people will be flocking to israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. >> more and more people will flock to israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. just as ezeke yial prophesized. explaning why they get a place, the only flag in her office was israels. at jerry fallwell said what sarah palin probably believes is that this is the first regathering, the regathering in belief when the jewish nation is converted, then there will be the battle of armageddon. who else believes that? billy graham. leading prophet of the the rapture, whose website after obama's election declared 2009 a year to focus on the end times. >> we who live, survive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the lord in the air.
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>> in 1970, billy graham's worldwide pictures released a documentary explaining israel's essential role in rapture prophesy. >> the lord god says, my people, i will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise, again, and return to the land of israel. >> british pop star, cliff richard even sings a song about it. ♪ slowly from hiding surely they come ♪ ♪ back to the homeland their fathers were from ♪ ♪ israel their citadel israel their home ♪ ♪ now they are here at last never to roam ♪ >> i prefer it when he opens with congratulations.
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sarah palin met billy graham this saturday. his son called islam an evil religion. franklin gave reporters this tidbit about palin's meeting with billy graham? she quizzed him on the president's he's known and wanted his take on what the bible says about israel, iran and iraq. if she wants to discuss her faith, we invite her to say what her faith says about the ultimate fate of israel and the injuries who choose to keep their faith. the phony partisanship storm over the obama state dinner tonight turned out to be nothing other than john boehner wanting to go home early for thanksgiving. at the top of the hour on "the rachel maddow show" eliot spitz spitzer.
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the first state dinner in the obama administration. accompanied by what's hardly the first false accusation of a slight against the gop. but first, the worst. beck is still trying to sell you gold even though you can't sell it back. another flip-flop from a former bailout supporter. and bill o'reilly's latest, he controls programming on pbs.
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coincidence? no meat. at the obama's first state dinner. the guest is a vegetarian. the president excluded key republicans. one was invited, but decided to go home, instead. worst persons in the world. the bronze to the fired hewlett packard ceo running for the senate from california as are -- a republican. on the bank bailout -- eight days later, she credited the bailout for unlocking credit. now that the bailout has worked, she addressed the american spectator -- ma'am, you're embarrassing yourself, and you're explaining again why hewlett-packard dumped you. bill o. bill moyers announced after 38
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years in television news he will be retiring from his weekly program on pbs. i think we, jesse waters drove him out of pbs. i think jesse waters is responsible for bill moyers leaving. now, he's hammering bush and cheney. they wanted him impeached. they sent jesse out to talk with him. in the interview from the stalker producer, they mopped the floor with the kid. he invited waters to come on the show because o'reilly didn't have the courage to do so, he said. a year later, o'reilly sent his other flunkie to try to side swied moyers and no one has seen barry since. in these interviews from two and three years ago, he thinks drove moyers out of pbs. he also thinks he has his own police force and also runs the tides. o'reilly never does the interviews himself because, well -- here kitty, kitty, kitty. but our winner, a two-fer from lonesome roads beck.
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a fairly recent survivor of an emergency appendectomy, i think i can say this -- i don't think what they took out of him was his appendix. predicting a collapse of the american economy, he advised, it's god, gold and guns. personally, you might take god and put him as an umbrella over the whole thing. then you've got your gold and gun down here, too. the dirty is that faith means as much to him as a tell evangelist. it's a scam. it's a cash cow. he's trying to sell people gold because his advertisers sell people gold. here's a fact beck never mention the. the gold sellers will buy gold back from you at about 60% or 70% of the going wholesale price they charge you. in other words, if you guy bobu and the price doesn't go up 30% or 40%, you won't make your money back, let alone a profit. beck calls mary landrieu a prostitute. using the word on television. we know you're hooking, you're
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just not cheap. at the end of the same attack, of verbal diarrhea, beck ined, i guess shame is dead. shame died. what would you know about shame? and where are the conservative feminists? a women politician is called a prostitute. it's okay. it's okay if i call sarah palin that? the hell it is. (announcer) we understand. you need to save money.
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and consider yourself officially invited to drive one. so, at national, i go right past the counter... and you get to choose any car in the aisle. choose any car? you cannot be serious! okay. seriously, you choose. go national. go like a pro.
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the menu for tonight's dinner is meatless. the guest of honor is a vegetarian. while the prime minister enjoys green curry prawns, the right wing will be feasting on sour grapes. the number one story, the made up hysterics over the guest list.
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greeting the indian prime minister, he and his wife. the festivities will require more than the state dining room to accommodate a guest list of over 300. they have been moved inside this heated tent, you see, on the south lawn. the right accused the president of keeping the gop out of the big tent. a washington times in an article titled top republican law makers not attending state dinner, reported the obama white house had snubbed gop leaders. it wrote, house minority leader john a. boehner won't be there. he's on thanksgiving break in ohio. facts once again ruining a perfectly good story. the secretary of state, as reported by politico a few days ago, boehner was invited, but declined to go homerly. a headline not invited. next to a link about the hollywood a-listers attending the dinner and the headlines celebrity curry. number one, to be left out, they linked the article to the
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washington times. now, what boehner and mcconnell are missing out on, awaiting the toast from the president. they will dine on china. the purple floral centerpieces. it brings me to the grand pooba of the crying foul. orly taitz limbaugh claiming the obama administration has single handedly ruined turkey day. has any president tried to hijack thanksgiving with a state dinner two days before thanksgiving? i'm surprised he didn't do it wednesday or thursday night. the president gave a toast earlier. later, rather. for the record, 39 seconds of research finds that president johnson had a state dinner for the president of west germany five days before christmas in 1965.
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even though president bush only held six state dinners in his eight year, one of them for the japanese prime minister was scheduled just five days before the fourth of july in 2006. joining us now, craig crawford and co-author of "listen up, mr. president." good evening, craig. >> looked like those folks thanksgiving hasn't been hijacked. they're having a good time. >> is there nothing left, not even state dinners that the ultimate pomp over meaning? >> the only thing left is politicizing a state funeral, i guess. this is part of a plan that the political parties do quite often. it's intense in this round of trying to delegitimize the
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president of the other party. they have been doing it in so many different ways. attacking a state dinner is one way to do it, i suppose. >> if you are going to politicize it, is it not appropriate to ask why the minority leader of the house could not stick around to represent this party like the prime minister of india? >> if it was reversed, it's what we would hear from them. i think it's part of a plan that delegitimizes this president. go and suck it up and pretend to get along. the vice president on the left there. the guest list was a closely regarded secret. it was released early this evening. anybody watching could see the arrivals. do we talk about the hollywood stars or is the one advantage of having it scheduled, nobody from the right is going to be at work tomorrow and it doesn't get played? >> right. i think they are going to make the effort to the hollywood president, the celebrities that are there, make a big deal out
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of that. past presidents had celebrities at these events. it's an old call 800 golden oldies. i think it helps the president in a way. >> what is the significance? i guess it's the historic continuum. it's been 60 years of dinners that have involved leaders from india. but is there additional significance to the president selecting india as the country that gets the honor of his first state dinner? >> there's been some concern in state department circles and diplomatic community that india was feeling left out with all the attention paid to pakistan, which obviously they don't get along with too well and other surrounding countries. plus, india is a huge democracy, one of the biggest in the world. sometimes, i think some of those countries feel like we pay so much attention to the bad guys,
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we overlook the good guys. don't say, because the right will come after you, don't say they are the biggest democracy, even though they are, the attention to detail for everything from this menu to the menu to the tables to the dress mrs. obama has. she's going to be in an outfit by an indian born american designer. does pulling off a welcoming diplomatic dinner lead to headway? does it have meat to the bones? >> i don't know of any except when you open up relations with a new country or something and the pomp and circumstance is new to them. it gives them respect. i think this lays a foundation, but there's nothing to replace the hard work behind the scenes to actually get deals made. dinners are nice, look good and help presidents look very presidenti presidential. there's the music right there. hail to the chief. that's one purpose of it.


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